Daily Archives: October 2, 2010

Bus strike possible Monday in Phoenix

[Source: Associated Press, via KTAR]

The Phoenix public transit department is urging bus riders to make alternate plan in case a transit worker strike is called on Monday.

City contractor Veolia Transportation Services is negotiating with its labor unions but a deadline extension for two of the three unions expires at midnight on Sunday.

If a strike is called, Veolia is obligated to provide service at 60 percent of the normal level on the 33 bus routes it operates. But it is possible all service using Veolia drivers could be shut down for some time.

Veolia also provides some service for Glendale, Peoria, Scottsdale, and Sun City. Those routes would also be affected if a strike is called.

The city is posting bus strike updates on its website, www.phoenix.gov.

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My Florist Cafe near downtown Phoenix closes its doors

[Source: Howard Seftel, Arizona Republic]

Tom Tingle/The Arizona Republic

Once a hot spot on the corner of McDowell and Seventh Avenue, My Florist Café has seemed to be on life support for years.

Now the plug has been pulled: The restaurant’s phone has been disconnected. Equipment was being pulled out of the kitchen Friday morning. And word has gone out to performers scheduled for upcoming events that the venue is not available.

Back in its 1990s heyday, My Florist Café attracted a cool crowd of bohemians and suits, folks who had almost no downtown Phoenix-area hangout alternatives. Here you could get decent grub, and a vibe that could make you plausibly pretend you were in a big city.

But over the past decade, as downtown grew, My Florist Café couldn’t keep up, and lost its cachet. By 2010, it had pretty much become irrelevant. The restaurant also seemed to suffer when a second location was opened in Ventura, Calif.

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Phoenix City Council approved a new strategy for a transparent and consistent user fees

[Source: Toni Maccarone, City of Phoenix News Release]

On Tuesday, the Phoenix City Council approved a new strategy designed to give the public a more transparent and consistent process when the city is proposing new user fees or recommending changes to existing fees.

“Any new fee proposals from city staff now will be considered only once a year, during the city’s annual public budget hearing process,” said Councilman Bill Gates, chairman of the City Council Finance, Efficiency and Innovation Subcommittee.

“This new strategy will help us move forward in a more open and transparent way, and I am pleased that the process was developed in partnership with city staff and our private sector members of the Innovation and Efficiency Task Force,” he said.

As part of the new strategy, city staff will work with the Parks and Recreation Board to defer consideration of mountain preserve parking fees so they can be examined as part of the comprehensive budget process in Spring 2011.  The fees had been scheduled to be discussed at the Oct. 6 City Council meeting.

“I support the city’s new fee strategy and am pleased that the Parks Board can participate in this new process,” said Laura Bell, chairwoman of the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Board.

As approved by the City Council, city staff will compile a comprehensive list of all user fee services, along with an analysis of their cost recovery, and present the information to the City Council by March 2011, in time for the city’s annual public budget hearings.  There will be no new user fees or increases to existing fees considered by the City Council until March 2011.

The strategy adopted by the City Council also fully supports the new state law that requires governments to post any recommended fee changes on their websites.  The city’s fee area is located on the phoenix.gov homepage.

For more information contact Toni Maccarone at 602-495-5901

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